Saturday, March 3, 2012

If You Read and Share Only One Blog, Please Read This One

It’s been 12 weeks since I started writing the Run Strong blog and regardless of the topic I’m posting about on any given week, the message of this particular blog is always sitting in the back of my head.

The truth is this: success on this journey will only be achieved if at the end there is greater capacity to meet the needs of women facing violence and their children.

During the first 3 months of this initiative, the Run Strong blogs have been written to demonstrate 2 things: 1) there is immediate, critical need at this moment to give women and children safe haven; and 2) I so believe in the work of Interim Place that I’ll train, run, blog, ask for help, whatever it takes.  But the real story of this journey is YOU – my family, friends, colleagues, and those kind souls I haven’t met – and your willingness to respond.  So many of you have already far exceeded any response I could have asked for in terms of your messages, your offers to run with me, and your response to past blogs: it has been incredible.

Now, I’m asking you to do one more thing: please make a donation.

As many of you know, I’ve worked in the non-profit sector for over 15 years, many of them as a fundraiser.  I intimately know how many charities ask for your support and I completely understand that there are only so many dollars to go around.  I can assure you of 2 things: first, I would only ask for your financial support if I could personally bear witness to the great impact that these dollars can have. At Interim Place’s 2011 Annual General Meeting, a past resident of Interim Place was the keynote speaker.  It’s hard to imagine a reality worse than what this woman went through: years of almost unimaginable physical and verbal abuse.  Her story so greatly saddened me; to think that one human being could do such horrendous things to another.  But, there was this incredible shift in her story when she talked about coming to Interim Place.  Having not much more than the clothes on her back, she arrived at the shelter doors where she was, first and foremost, kept safe.  She was welcomed and provided with food and shelter.  She was supported: she received counseling and was offered assistance with legal, housing, employment and other issues that would help her to move towards a life free of violence.  What an image of triumph she was on that evening last June, now an entrepreneur, author, and spokesperson for Interim Place.

The second thing I can assure you is that Interim Place holds itself to high standards of financial accountability and funds raised are used effectively and efficiently.  I am a member of the Board of Directors and previously the organization’s Treasurer, so you have my personal assurance that great care is taken to ensure that dollars raised are used to increase the capacity to provide services to women and children.

My marathon won’t end global violence against women, but I know this for certain: your donation will directly and immediately impact women’s lives.  At the most fundamental level, it ensures there is a safe
place for women to go: some of whom are in life-threatening situations and all of whom are in crisis and require assistance fleeing violence.

Consider this:

$25.00 provides a rescue ride to help a woman and her children escape to safety
$50.00 provides a woman with a shelter Welcome Kit which includes new pajamas, undergarments,  
        socks, slippers, bathrobes, toiletries and personal items
$500 helps to give a fresh start for a mom and her two children to settle into their new permanent home  
        in the community.
$1,080 provides one year of free, confidential 24 hour crisis counseling for one woman experiencing
        abuse in the community to keep herself and her children safe and a plan to safely escape.
$1,440 provides 24 hour one-to-one and group counseling for a woman with three children during their
        four month shelter stay.

Please, before you close this blog, I ask you to do one more thing and click on the donate link.  You can donate online or send a cheque made out to Interim Place (email me at if you prefer to mail a cheque).  As my personal way of thanking, you, I will send a “20 Life Lessons I Learned From Running” poster to all Run Strong donors.  Any amount you can give is a true gift to Interim Place.

I am so sincere when I tell you how grateful I am for your donations.  I know what these dollars can do and, on behalf of Interim Place and the women and children we serve, thank you…thank you.

Thanks for running with me.

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